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Morning note:

World food prices are the highest a decade, reflecting in part reduced wheat harvests by major exporters and higher palm oil prices, the United Nations’ food agency said.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said international prices of its basket of food commodities rose by 3% in October, for a third straight month of increases.

Reduced harvests by big exporters like Canada, Russia and the United States helped drive up wheat prices by 5%, while the Vegetable Oil Price Index soared by 9.6% in October, hitting an all-time high. Migrant worker shortages in Malaysia were a factor in that increase, the FAO said. – John Xavier

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Asian markets update

Chinese markets dragged on Asian shares as they failed to follow a global record-setting rally.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.67%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.81%. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.32%. Shanghai shares lost 0.24%.

In U.S., the S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended their streaks of record high closes to six sessions, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a slim loss, ending a string of record closes.

 

—-  Edited by John Xavier

 

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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